Getting Started

Below are the basic steps need to get django-scribbler integrated into your Django project.

Configure Settings

You need to include scribbler to your installed apps. django-scribbler requires django.contrib.auth which in turn requires django.contrib.sessions which are enabled in Django by default. You will also need to include a context processor to include the current request in the template context.

    # Required contrib apps
    # Other installed apps would go here

    # Other context processors would go here

Note that TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS is not included in the default settings created by startproject. You should take care to ensure that the default context processors are included in this list. For a list of default TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS please see the official Django docs.

If you are using Django 1.8 then instead of TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS you should configure TEMPLATES['OPTIONS']['context_processors']:

TEMPLATES = [ # example config untill 'context_processors' your config maydiffer
        'BACKEND': 'django.template.backends.django.DjangoTemplates',
        'DIRS': [
        'APP_DIRS': True,
        'OPTIONS': {
            'context_processors': [
                    # add required context processors here:
                # Other context processors would go here
            'debug': False,

Note that unlike TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS from Django 1.7 TEMPLATES is already included in the default settings created by startproject. Django 1.8 also supports custom template engines but this is not supported at the moment by django-scribbler.

For the context processor to have any effect you need to make sure that the template is rendered using a RequestContext. This is done for you with the render shortcut.

django-scribbler aggressively caches the scribble content. By default the scribble content is cached for 12 hours. You have the option to configure this cache timeout with the SCRIBBLER_CACHE_TIMEOUT setting. The value should be the timeout in seconds.

Configure Urls

You should include the scribbler urls in your root url patterns.

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    # Other url patterns would go here
    url(r'^scribbler/', include('scribbler.urls')),

Create Database Tables

You’ll need to create the necessary database tables for storing scribble content. This is done with the syncdb management command built into Django:

python syncdb

django-scribbler uses South to handle database migrations. If you are also using South then you should specify SOUTH_MIGRATION_MODULES in settings:

    'scribbler': 'scribbler.south_migrations',

To run south migrations call:

python migrate scribbler


The latest release of South does not support Python 3. If you want to try django-scribbler with Python 3 you will have go without South for the time being or you should use Django 1.7-1.8 migrations

User Permissions

To edit scribbles on the front-end users must have the scribbler.add_scribble and scribbler.change_scribble permissions. You can configure uses to have these permissions through the users section of the Django admin. Superusers have all of these permissions by default.

Similarly, to edit fields from models on the front-end, users must have “change” permission for the models being edited. Again these permissions can be configured through the users section of the Django admin.

Include Static Resources

django-scribbler includes both CSS and JS resources which need to be included in your templates to handle the front-end content management. Since you may want to include scribbles on any page on your site these should be included in your base template <head>.

<link rel="stylesheet" href="{{ STATIC_URL }}scribbler/css/scribbler.css">
<script data-main="{{ STATIC_URL }}scribbler/js/scribbler-min" src="{{ STATIC_URL }}scribbler/libs/require.js"></script>

This uses RequireJS to load the additional JS resources. The front-end editor uses CodeMirror (currently using v2.38) which is included in the distribution. Both RequireJS and CodeMirror are available a MIT-style license compatible with this project’s BSD license. You can find the license files included in scribbler/static/scribbler/libs/.


Prior to v0.5 you also needed to include the codemirror.css prior to scribbler.css. As of v0.5 you only need to include scribbler.css.

Also prior to v0.5 it was recommended to use {{ STATIC_URL }}scribbler/js/scribbler. As of v0.5 it is recommended that you use the minified version.

Place Scribbles in Your Template

You are now ready to place the scribble content blocks throughout your templates. This is done with the scribble block tag. The basic usage of the tag takes one argument which is the slug name for the scribble. Slugs must be unique per url/slug pair. That means you cannot use the same slug more than once in the template but you can use the same slug in different templates as long as they are rendered on different urls.

{% load scribbler_tags %}
{% scribble 'header' %}
    <p>Blip {% now 'Y' %} {{ STATIC_URL|upper }}</p>
{% endscribble %}

The content inside the block is the default content that will be rendered if a matching scribble in the database is not found.

The scribble tag can take an optional argument which allows for defining shared scribbles.

{% load scribbler_tags %}
{% scribble 'header' 'shared' %}
    <p>Blip {% now 'Y' %} {{ STATIC_URL|upper }}</p>
{% endscribble %}

The second argument defines a lookup vector to a shared scribble. This overrides the url portion of the url/slug pair, and allows for reuse across multiple templates.


Scribble content can be any valid Django template. However the content does not include all of the context of the template. Only the context provided by the set of TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS.

A second scribbler tag, scribble_field, allows for editing fields of model instances. For example, suppose you have a DaysLog model with a field named happenings. Suppose an instance of this model is passed into your template in the template variable days_log. Then the happenings field of this DaysLog instance can be displayed and edited on the page by including this scribble_field template tag in the template for the page:

{% load scribbler_tags %}
{% scribble_field days_log 'happenings' %}


The logged-in user must have “change” permission for the model in order for the model instance to be editable on the page.

That should be enough to get you up and running with django-scribbler.